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Berlin

A 'country' village - where you'd least expect it

Alt-Marzahn, Berlin - a charming 'country' village

It's a tiny German village, complete with a farmyard, neo-gothic church and even its own working windmill. But in fact, it's located in Berlin itself - and more extraordinary still, happens to be surrounded by 20-storey tower blocks.

Tending the geese in Alt-Marzahn - a tiny historic enclave amid the area's high-rise apartment blocks
A village complete with farm, church and windmill - but it's surrounded by Marzahn's concrete towers

In the 1970s, building work began in the once-rural district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, eventually converting the entire area into one of Berlin's largest GDR-era housing quarters.

Yet the historic settlement of Alt-Marzahn was left intact, a miniscule island in a sea of high-rise.

Historic photograph of Marzahn showing the development of the GDR tower blocks around the ancient village
Alt-Marzahn - the impressive neogothic village church

There's no denying the slightly surreal appearance of a busy motorway just beyond the windmill, or the concrete towers looming at either end of the cobbled main street and quaint village green.

Pne of Berlin's most surreal sights - a tiny village surrounded by concrete towers: Alt-Marzahn
Horses graze near a busy motorway in the tiny, historic village of Alt-Marzahn, Berlin

But that, perhaps, is also part of Alt-Marzahn's appeal - because even in a city where curious sights abound, a hidden village surrounded by skyscrapers just has to be one of the most unexpected of them all.


See also:
Just an illusion - a neoclassic quarter among Marzahn's tower blocks
The historic villas of Lichterfelde West
Neuk├Âlln's secret village


Alt-Marzahn, 12685 Berlin
Website: Marzahn windmill
Website: Marzahn farmyard


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